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One of the Most Finely Engraved 16th Century Maps of Italy

Italy. MERCATOR, G./ PTOLEMY, C. [Cologne, 1584]
Eur. VI. Tab:. 13 ½ x 18 ¾ inches
Fine hand color; minor mend at bottom, else excellent condition


An early edition, the second, of this exquisite map of Italy, engraved by Mercator himself. It appeared in Mercator’s edition of Ptolemy – considered to be the definitive printed edition of the second century, Alexandrian canonical works. In it, Mercator developed a baroque-style of map ornamentation featuring strapwork designs, flowers and grotesques, all ingeniously interwound one with the other. This style would be adopted and extended by Hondius and others in maps that would become synonymous with cartography of the Dutch Golden Age.

Cf. Borri, Carta 49

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